From our Prayers
This day is the beginning of Your works, a memoriam for the first
day. For it is an ordinance for Israel, a judgement for the God of Jacob (Machzor of Rosh Hashanah).
This day is the beginning of God's works? Rosh Hashanah marks the day on which man was created, which was the sixth day of Creation. Rather than being the beginning of the Divine works, it was the end. When man came into being, the earth, the sun, moon, stars, galaxies, rivers, oceans, mountains, vegetation, and all forms of life were already in existence.
The message is quite clear. An artist may spend days and weeks assembling all the materials he needs for his painting, but the actual work does not begin until he touches the brush to the canvas. All that preceeded was indeed essential to the work, but was not the work itself.
We are told here that the work of Creation begins with man. Everything else in the universe, from the tiniest sub-atomic particle to the greates galaxy, is but preparatory to man. Man is thus the essence of the entire universe and the goal of all Creation.
This places an awesome responsiblity upon man. He cannot live his life like the sub-human species, because they are merely appurtenances in a universe that makes man's existence possible. As the ultimate purpose of Creation, therefore, man must search for the purpose of his existence and how he can best achieve it, because all else in the universe is the means, whereas he is the end.
Because man is the end of Creation, he is the beginning of God's works.
Today I shall...
.... try to search for the meaning of my existence, and dedicate myself to finding and fulfilling the purpose for which I was created.